C. Kat Grimsley

Adjunct Lecturer in Real Estate Development


  • Real Estate Development
C. Kat Grimsley

Areas of Expertise

  • Global real estate development
  • Sustainable development and SDGs
  • International property law
  • Urban policy and planning


  • Ph.D. in Land Economics, University of Cambridge
  • MS Real Estate, Johns Hopkins University
  • BS Finance, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign


Dr. Kat Grimsley is a commercial real estate consultant with 20 years of experience across academia, industry and government. Through her unique blend of expertise, she combines thought leadership with practical advice on contemporary topics in urban development and sustainability in her work consulting, teaching, conducting research and providing expert testimony in commercial real estate litigation.

Prior to earning her doctorate, Dr. Grimsley began her career in the private sector conducting market research, feasibility analysis, and financial modeling for development projects in markets across the United States.  She then transitioned to a global focus managing acquisition strategies for an international development portfolio of diplomatic properties for the U.S. Department of State in more than 25 countries.  Specifically, Dr. Grimsley evaluated project feasibility; conducted political, transactional, and contract negotiations; and led multidisciplinary technical teams of engineers, architects, attorneys, brokers, planners, and other specialists.

In the spring of 2023, Dr. Grimsley was appointed by the State Department to serve as an external advisor to the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations as part of their Industry Advisory Group.  She is also the Vice-chair of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe’s Real Estate Markets Advisory Group under the Committee of Urban Development, Housing, and Land Management.  Dr. Grimsley's ongoing work with the UN involves supporting national and local governments through policy research related to international development challenges and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

Outside of business, Dr. Grimsley enjoys international travel and learning languages.


  • RED 515 Construction and Project Management

Selected Recent Publications

Forthcoming: Pennetti, C. A., Grimsley, C. K., and Grindall, B. M. (2023).  Management Essentials for Civil Engineers: A Practical Guide to Business, Communication, Ethics, and Risk. Wiley & Sons, Inc. Hoboken, NJ.

Grimsley, C. K., & Sánchez, H. S. (2023, March 27). Mexico: nearshoring, foreign investment create industrial opportunities. Development, (Spring), 56–63.

Grimsley, C. K. (2023).  Examining Development Approvals Across North America: An Analysis of Site Plan and Building Permit Review Processes.  NAIOP Research Foundation. Herndon, VA.

Grimsley, C. K. (2022).  Findings from the Development Approvals Index.  NAIOP Research Foundation. Herndon, VA.

Lawson, J., Norris, M., Wallbaum, H., Grimsley. C.K., Nasarre-Aznar, S., and Lambea Llop, N. (2021). #Housing2030: Effective policies for affordable housing in the UNECE region.  (ECE/HBP/204).  United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.

Grimsley, C. K. (2021).  The Development Approvals Index: A New Tool to Evaluate Local Approvals Processes. NAIOP Research Foundation. Herndon, VA.

Grimsley, C. K., and Pennetti, C. A. (2020).  Application of a Systems Engineering Approach as a Preventative Measure Against Disruptions in Real Estate Institutions.  In Disruptive Technology, Legal Innovation, and the Future of Real Estate (pp. 155-176).  Springer International Publishing.  Switzerland.

Dewberry, S.O., and Grimsley, C. K. (2019).  Development of the Built Environment: from Site Acquisition to Completion.  McGraw Hill Education.  New York, NY.

Grimsley. C.K., and Carriero, D. (2019). Guidelines on the Management and Ownership of Condominium Housing.  (ECE/HBP/198).  United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.


  • Certified Leadership Coach for Organizational Well-being
  • Certified Professional Career Coach

Honors and Awards

  • U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Overseas Building Operations, Industry Advisory Group – Peer (2023 – present)
  • United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, Real Estate Markets Advisory Group – Vice-chair (2017 – present)
  • NAIOP Research Foundation – Distinguished Fellow (2017 – 2023)
  • 2022 George Mason University Platinum Impact Award
  • 2021 MRED Faculty of the Year (George Mason University)
  • 2018 RCLCO Paper Prize for thought leadership in affordable housing
  • Cambridge International Scholarship (2011 – 2014)
  • 2010 U.S. Department of State Exemplary Performance Award
  • 2009 U.S. Department of State Exemplary Performance Award